When all we see is our mess, but He sees us.

“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.” -Mother Teresa

12694713_10153426711111989_4536754274534016780_oSince I’ve pulled my boys from there schools, I’ve returned to a slow paced and calm (ish) life. And I’ve had time to reflect and even look inward.  And OH how I’ve missed and needed this! 12716242_10153436427526989_6775363051451239941_o It’s different this time, for one, obviously Ted is gone that part is hard – but mostly because I just miss him. We all do.



12771553_10153444665221989_5198546652115345337_oBut I’m actually talking about a difference in me, in this season. I’ve found a newfound, or maybe I should say a renewing, of things I am passionate about. Things that bring me life. Even in how I mother. And ultimately all from going deep, remembering who I am at my core. 12747279_10153445374231989_8213789854029803742_o

Don’t get me wrong, it has been hard. And there have been many tears shed between my kids and I.  12622407_10153387077861989_6949008415152673507_oMany arguments, many a time where I’ve felt confused at how to help my kids where they are at. Many moments of lost tempers, patience and grace. 12496223_10153385164066989_4827455189661559232_oBut everyday I feel a new measure of grace and hope and perspective rise with the sun. Okay, woah cheesin’ big time… But guys it’s true! 12698624_10153417125386989_7483916795792617295_oAnd how beautiful and hopeful my life has felt as I’ve remembered this. 12695016_10153416311661989_5998714702086564629_oI mess up everyday in someway. And these 3 little faces peering up at me with such honest and pure unconditional love, and it reminds me of Jesus and his amazing grace and love for me. 12646860_10153409559161989_6676799095229820562_oJust like these precious souls, he doesn’t see my as my messes. 12615255_10153398453606989_5490379131347757456_o He sees ME. Who he’s created me to be. Sure the mess is there and we’ve got to organize, in a sense. Purge and get rid of what isn’t me. 12594038_10153385586471989_2059732738726609481_oAnd when I stop solely focusing so much on my own mess and failures, and listen, he helps me sift through all the mess and suddenly remember who I am, and recognize the girl beneath all of the things piled on me.  12694787_10153406307261989_6295064438992989985_oAnd I feel that happening, in this season. I’m ready, and he’s drawing out of me what he’s places inside of me. And to see that who I am, even in all my deep feeling ways, is beautiful and is useful.img_2437That I am not too much of this or too little of that. I’m not the lies I believe, or the words spoken over me.

 There are treasures inside of all of us. We often let all the pain and guilt and weight of the messes weigh us down so we can’t see that beauty within anymore.   And feel it’s hopeless to try to manage the mess anymore. (Have you ever seen an episode of Hoarders? I picture sometime like that. :)) but, friends…

He is forever faithful.
And loving.
And compassionate.
And kind.

He’s so faithful to work with us through whatever our mess may be. And however long it may take.

 This season has been painful, and difficult as I’ve decided to start facing my piles of pain, bitterness, rejection, loss, loneliness, selfishness, broken dreams, words spoken over me, parenting fails, etc … I could go on and on. Couldn’t we all?

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Or we do the opposite and believe there is no mess, no fault in us. I’ve had seasons like that too. Where pride, or perhaps fear, get in the way and we put on a disguise (knowingly or unknowingly).

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I’m beginning to remember who I am at my core, discard who I’m not – the things I’ve picked up along the way that maybe are someone else but aren’t me, face the things I’ve done wrong, and love, love and love myself through this process. Which is something I’ve never really done. Maybe you haven’t either.

I’ve spent years pouring my life into helping others, which does bring me life! But often time I have ONLY poured into others. I’ve even tried to prove my love and worth to others. And only recently it hit me, to be honest I felt burnt out and too weighed down by trying to live solely taking care of others, that I realized I {NEED} to remember to nourish my own soul, too. I need to work through these painful messes. I love the quote you see above by Mother Teresa. And I agree but wonder, what if take it a step even further back…What is we started with ourselves and then the person nearest us, and go out from there! God can use us broken, I believe it and I’ve seen it, but I believe he wants to help us to remember who we are and that our brokenness doesn’t define us at our core. Is shapes us in certain ways, for sure.

 And we will have scars, hidden and exposed, I sometimes think of the more exposed scars as perhaps as a way to share our stories and help another not feel so alone. And the hidden ones that are maybe too personal or painful to share with anyone besides Jesus himself or a close few. (We all have our own personal measures on what we share of course!)

 I’m realizing it isn’t selfish to look inward and take time to remember who you are at your core. Who has he made you to be? What are the things he placed inside of YOU? Maybe things that are beautifully YOU but you’ve unknowingly shut them down because of what man has spoken over you? Or maybe you just haven’t taken time for yourself in a long, long time and you’re weary of the mess you’ve made/collected/picked up along the way? Whatever your “mess” is, it isn’t too much for our Creator, our Father, our Friend. Don’t lose hope. You’re not in this alone!

Take time for YOU. Do things that bring you life and rid yourself of the rest, even if temporarily or maybe forever. For me I’ve limited my interaction with the Facebook world and focused more on reading, journaling, listening to music and singing, and playing with my kids, getting out into nature often – gathering new freckles from the sunshine, spending time with my friends. I’m working on my emotional/mental state and attempting to work on my physical state as well – but that’s for another post ;)

Also blogging is something  I want to pick up again, hence this post.  12764652_10153453776456989_787978701691174019_o

What brings you life? What refreshes and renews you? What disguise have you tried to maintain, maybe even unknowingly? What lies are you believing? Has busyness become your norm that you’ve forgotten how to be still and dig deep?

Do something healthy for you today. Because a healthier you, equals a healthier outlook on life, a healthier and more genuine way we reach people and show them who Jesus is. (Speaking to myself here too of course!!)

Maybe it’s time we unmasked the disguised version of ourselves, faced our messes, purged the hell out of the piles, and maybe even shared our scars with the world and watch what happens. I think we’d be amazed!

I already feel this way and I’ve only just begun. How amazing is our Jesus, who can use us along the way of purging these messes – that he doesn’t wait until we’ve reached perfection!

How beautiful His loving kindness that when all we see are our messes, He sees US. And longs to show us what He sees.

 

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No Sugar October.

i. am. addicted. to. sugar.

pretty much every single day i “must” have one sugary beverage; a soda, a decaf coffee (with lots of creamer or syrups), juice, smoothie, etc.

and there are {always} sugary foods in our house. sugary cereals, muffins, granola bars with chocolate chips…

it’s pretty bad.

SO

i’ve decided to start fresh with a new month and decided on October. what better month than the month before i’m supposed to have Boy S?

i’ve done this before. once i fasted sugar for 40 days. and my biggest feat was when i was a teenager, for TWO years i refused to drink soda or to eat ice cream or chocolate.

if i had such self-control at 16-18, surely i can as a 24-year-old adult woman.

a {huge} motivation for dropping sugar (until i have a healthier relationship with it ;)) is CHASE.

we were really careful with him when it came to sugar until this pregnancy with S. i share things with him that i shouldn’t and i regret it big time. i don’t want him to become addicted to sugar when he once (and thankfully still does if i’m not eating something) thought that fruit and healthy granola bars were sweet treats.

another motivation is i want to lose {all} or at least most of the weight i’ve gained in 3 pregnancies. this pregnancy i have done well in maintaining my weight. here i am at 34 weeks having only gained 12lbs! i am so thankful and proud that i finally got it right this pregnancy.

(side note: 12lbs might seem like far too little for the baby but it’s really not. i am so overweight for my 5’0 frame that i was only supposed to gain 15-20lbs tops. when i began this pregnancy with S i was 2lbs less than what i weighed at 42 weeks pregnant with Chase! yeah…needless to say it again, but i’ve gained a lot in just 3 years )

 sugar is my downfall.

before getting pregnant with S sugar was my main source of calorie intake.

i want to have S and have already “conquered” my addiction to sugar so that i won’t be battling that while trying to lose weight.

i don’t think it’s a lofty goal. i think it’s smart and will help my health in more ways than i could imagine!

so, here we are, October 1st (which is just crazy, right?!) and today i began.

wanna join in? i have one friend that is joining me. i think the accountability would be great and will be posting blogs ever so often to share how it’s going.

lemme know! oh and pray for me? hahahahaha. no but seriously, please do :)

our new health blog & a small victory

Today I created a new blog called Our journey to health where I will post about our journey as a family to a holisitc approach to health. We’re starting from scratch though and we need your help. If you have advice, please comment on our health blog. Thank you much :)

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I also just really wanted to share… remember The Paper Mama Photo Challenge; Fall I entered?! Well my photo was picked as #2 in the top 5!

The Paper Mama

Check it out here and be sure to check out the #1 photo too, it’s so awesome. I was just really excited and had to share with you all :) It actually really was an encouragment to me that day I found out. It brightened my day.

Sugar Free.

Inspired by Lent (but not for lent), I have decided to fast sugar for 40 days.

I am fasting because;

1) I’m addicted. It’s at least 50% of my daily diet. No joke.

2) We want to raise our kiddos living a healthy lifestyle and how can I teach them if I am not living that life. I would never want them to eat/drink what I do!

I began Monday, so almost a week now of no sugar. It has been hard, so hard (!) but it is already benefiting my body… and Chase. I am pretty sure this is not a coincidence but Chase is sleeping through the night or at least a lot better! Teething was part of the reason for lack of sleep but before that, it had to have been the sugar/caffeine he was getting through breast milk. And here I thought it didn’t affect him. Wrong! We’ve both been sleeping amazingly, minus the one night this week! That’s a record!

Having Chase and wanting the absolute best for him, has really challenged Ted and I and the way we treat our bodies. We’ve made the commitment to feed Chase purely natural foods, and it’s going to be difficult, but that is our goal. Right now we are taking baby steps and we’re just focusing on the now. Right now, we are feeding him organic baby food. We’ve only given him jar baby food but once we move (in 29 days! more to come on this…) I will begin using organic veggies and water and our food processor to make baby food from home.

I’ve had a sugar free drink for the first time in my life this week. I was shocked at how it didn’t really taste that different. It made me wonder though…

Is sugar free really sugar free? And what do you recommend as a naturally sweetened snack? Please comment :)

p.s. Have you heard of Jamie Oliver?  Ted and I watched a short video on TED.com that changed the way we thought. He actually has a show that premieres  Friday March 26th on ABC on revolutionizing the way we eat. It is mind blowing. You should check out his site!